15 Books About Cars and Trucks with Crafts To Match!

car and truck ideas for preschool We love cars and trucks and everything else that goes with them at our house. My son was obsessed with garbage trucks first, then moved to firetrucks, and my daughter loves bulldozers so much she had a bulldozer themed birthday party. Needless to say we have read a lot of truck themed books and created many fun car and truck crafts and learning activities. I have matched 15 of our favorite transportation themed books with activities and crafts that match them. I hope this post and all our other Read & Make` posts help you find simple activities to do with your kids or students.

The book link takes you to amazon and is an affiliate link while the craft link will take you to the full tutorial for the craft or activity.

 

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Read I Love Trucks! by Philoemen Sturges and explore tire tracks with small transportation toys. This is great for toddlers.

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Learn all about emergency vehicles  in  Emergency! by Gail Gibbons that race to fires and then work on fine motor development with this ripping and gluing letter f activity. Read and Make cars and trucks 13

 

The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore is the perfect match for this fun school bus craft. Read and Make cars and trucks 12

 

Read  Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha and then work on shape recognition with this simple shape garbage truck craft.

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See all the different kinds of trucks on the road in I’m a Truck by Dennis Shealy then pop outside and give all your different kinds of trucks a good wash!Read and Make cars and trucks 10

 

Read about Firefighter Frank in this great book by Monica Wellington and then make him a shape firetruck. Read and Make cars and trucks 9

My Truck is Stuck! by Kevin Lewis is a funny book and after reading about this stuck truck you can help your child develop fine motor skills with this cool straw truck craft.

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Truck Driver Tom by Monica Wellington is another great book by one of our favorite author illustrators and after reading you can create your own town and drive Tom all over it with this upcyled doormat roadway. Read and Make cars and trucks 7

 

Read Flashing Fire Engines by Tony Mitton  and then work on number recognition and number writing with these count and write fire trucks! Read and Make Cars & Trucks 6

 

Read Alphabeep!: A Zipping, Zooming ABC by Debora Pearson a great alphabet book and then work on sorting letters into upper and lowercase with this alphabet road activity. Read and Make Cars & Trucks 5

 

Curl up and read Sputter, Sputter, Sput! by Babs Bell and then make your own traffic light craft that is also a color matching activity!

 

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Learn all about how roads are made in Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy then make your own roads with construction vehicles with this truck track art activity!

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Count all the construction vehicles in Construction Countdown by K.C Olson then create your own construction site with this construction themed sensory activity. 

 

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Race to read The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race by Stan and Jan Berenstain and then use car makes for a literacy activity. This car alphabet is perfect for your car obsessed kiddo!

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Last but far from least is this perfect pair. Read Machines at Work by Byron Barton then create this fun bulldozer craft using all sorts of shapes.

Books About Trucks

Three Little Rigs

The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon is a fresh twist on the classic Three Little Pigs with trucks instead of pigs. My son ate this book up, he loved it. The “wolf” in the story is a wrecking ball that smashes and crashes the Little Rigs garages , I thought he was a little scary but after reading the book I asked my son his favorite part and sure enough he said the wrecking ball. I loved the illustrations and was not surprised one bit to read that the author/illustrator has done work for Pixar.

Road Builders

Road Builders by B.G. Hennessy was a birthday gift for my son in November and he was not interested at first. Maybe because of the plethora of lego that was taking over our house… however it has since become such a favorite he recently “read” it to my sister’s dog. It’s a story all about how a road is built , explaining what the crew does, and how each type of construction vehicle has a different role in building a road.  I like that it explains the process from start to finish, in just the right level of detail for preschoolers.  I also like that there is a female crew member and her participation is seamless .

Trucks Whizz Zoom Rumble

Trucks: Whizz! Zoom! Rumble! by Patricia Hubbell was another hit with my son. The book is about all the trucks that one can find on the road, from armored trucks to diggers and of course garbage trucks! My son is a huge garbage truck fan and was elated when there wasn’t just one but two in this book!  The text rhymes and chugs along well with the whimsical collaged illustrations by Megan Halsey.  Many of the drivers in the book are animals and when I asked my son if elephants really drive trucks he looked at me seriously and said ” Sometimes they do! ” , regardless of my son’s take on reality he really enjoyed this book and if your child is as into trucks as he is they will too.


Trucks Roll! by George Ella Lyon got a huge compliment from my son today when we read it. When he really really wants more of something not only does he ask for it with words but the sign language he learned so long ago comes out. This book got the “More Trucks!” out loud and the frantic more signs! The book is the perfect length for 2-4 year olds who like my son love anything you can drive. It also explains well what trucks drivers do and how so many things make it from one place to the next. Cute book, worth a read for sure!


I'm A Truck

I’m a Truck by Dennis Shealy is about Big Blue Bill a big rig on his way from the Big Tuna to the Big Apple! As he travels along the highway, stops at trucks stops and runs into road construction he visits with his truck friends. Most every type of truck is covered in this book and the illustrations by Bob Staake are so detailed that you can spend extra time just finding things on each page. All the trucks are anthropomorphized and some hilariously so. I am quite fond of a logging truck named Leif who had a beard and toque ( winter cap for non Canadians ) , he makes me giggle. My son loves the part where Big Blue Bill is stuck in city traffic behind a garbage truck who is stinky!  The text is a good length and I have a feeling this will be a favorite for a while at our house.

I Love Trucks

I Love Trucks! is about all sorts of trucks from firetrucks, bulldozers, ice cream trucks and of course garbage trucks!  Each page has simple text that gives a brief description of the main action each truck does like roll, dump, dig etc… My son eats this book up even though he enjoys much longer book as well. The illustrations by Shari Halpern ( who also illustrated many others of this author’s ) are bright bold and have a cartoon like quality that grabs young children’s attention.

Don’t miss out on our 1st Annual Summer Reading Challenge . There are prizes and lots of learning to be had all summer long!


Books About : Emergency Workers

Do your child’s ears perk up when they hear sirens? Do they ask to drive past fire stations just to see if the trucks are “at home” ? Have they ever dreamed about being a firefighter, doctor or police officer? If they have these books will be perfect for them.

Emergency

Emergency! by Gail Gibbons is a great compilation of all the different kinds of emergency responders in our community from police, ambulance , firefighters and and even utility workers. My son loved the simple illustrations and the descriptive but to the point text about all the different vehicles and people inside them.  We also both loved the look at the history of some of the different vehicles over time at the end of the book.

policeman small

Policeman Small was first published in 1962 and is retro in all the awesome ways. Cute and cheery it’s like a little Rockwell painting in a book! Policeman Small is about a policeman in a simpler time, a time that is perfect for little readers not looking for the reality of what police work is, instead looking for something simple. A big hit with young toddlers, my son enjoyed this book well before he was 2 and still does years later.

Ambulances

Ambulances by Carol K. Lindeen is a simple non fiction book all about ambulances that uses simple questions and real photographs to inform and educate the reader. My son loved that the book uses real photographs , he studied each one asking questions about who each person , what happened to them etc…  The text is very brief but it does it’s job explaining the basics so that like my inquisitive little guy , your child can use that base knowledge and ask more specific questions after reading each page and studying the photographs. Good non fiction choice.

Dr. Meows Big Emergency

Doctor Meow’s Big Emergency by Sam Lloyd was taken out of the library late last week and has been read at least twice a day since, we both know it off my heart.  In the book readers meet Dr. Meow and her trusty ambulance driver Woof as they care for patience and rush to the aid of Tom Cat who has been injured falling out of a tree. Really it’s a story about being kind to others and forgiving, as Tom Cat learns not to pick on little Mr. Bird and in turn Mr. Bird forgives Tom Cat for his mistakes.  Both my son and I loved the little cheeky details, humor and fun little world that the author illustrator created in this book.


Fire Engines by Anne Rockwell is the current favorite at our house. I found it at a thrift store for twenty five cents and I am definitely getting much more than my moneys worth! It’s a cute book with easy text and cute cartoon dalmatians as fire fighters. I particularly love that there is a fire boat in the book since we often see those around here. Cute book for fire engine lovers!

More Transportation Books !

“Freight Train” by Donald Crews is best reviewed by my son who loves it so much he “reads” it to us. This video was taken for grand parents far away but it was perfect for this post. Clearly proof of how many times we have read it, renewed it from the library and genuinely enjoy it as a family.


“My Truck is Stuck”
by Kevin Lewis is a fun book full of great rhymes and funny illustrations from Daniel Kirk. The story is simple a truck is stuck and even though other vehicles come to help, nothing budges until a tow truck arrives. The best part is the cargo of bones in the truck are slowly stolen by hungry gophers while the others work to free the truck. It’s got a great message about helping people and the illustrations make me giggle, especially the guy in the moving van who is blowing bubbles. I have never understood that but it makes me laugh.


“Trucks Go”
by Steve Light is a new find for us. I spotted this board book from across the library during preschool story time today. There were kids everywhere and I was not sure that I would get to it before someone else did. I kept my composure , didn’t have to elbow a single person and popped it in my bag. The minute of worry was worth it , what an awesome book! The illustrations are so beautiful that I would seriously consider framing every page. The book goes through different trucks ( garbage truck, cement mixer, fire engine etc..) and the sounds they make. My son was laughing and repeating the sounds while we read this at bedtime and enjoyed the water color illustrations almost as much as I did. Grab this one like I did.


“The Truck Book”
by Harry McNaught is another favorite in our house, mostly because it has a forklift in it. There isn’t much of a story, instead it’s a collection of labeled illustrations. If your child is like mine and loves , no obsesses over things that move this is a fantastic book. I admit I get bored reading it even if my son doesn’t. To fight that boredom we play I spy and both of us are happy.


“The Mighty Street Sweeper”
by Patrick Moore is a rare book, it’s rare because it is a story about self esteem clothed in a truck book. The street sweeper isn’t the biggest, the fastest or the most powerful truck but it’s still mighty and proud. I really like this book, we read it before nap and again before bed and I liked it even more the second time. The message about being happy with who you are is really touching . I liked that the book says that you don’t have to be the best at everything to still be proud of your hard work. My son really enjoyed this book as well and it was excited to read it again at bedtime.

We’re On A Roll !

Books That Move !
I have had so many responses to my Garbage Truck and School Bus crafts lately that I decided I needed a book review post filled only with transportation themed books. This is not a comprehensive list ( although I am working on one) just the newest additions. For a list of my transportation activities click here

“The Adventures of Taxi Dog” by Debra and Sal Barraca is a about a stray dog in New York City who is rescued by a taxi driver and spend the rest of his days riding in the front seat soaking up the diversity of their fares. The rhyming text, and detailed illustrations by Marc Buehner work well together to make this a fun read .


“Machines At Work” by Byron Barton is a bold and bright book that is perfect for toddlers who are obsessed with construction vehicles. The text is brief but effective. My son loved this book as an infant and at 2 still enjoys reading it, aw well as counting the workers and trucks on each page.

“The Berenstain Bears and the Big Road Race” by Stan and Jan Berenstain shouldn’t be overlooked. I really enjoy this book but not as much as my son who has begged for it every day before nap this week. It’s a good story about being persistant and they sneak lots of learning into the rhyming text. Colors, opposites and more can be reinforced by this retelling of the classic tale of the tortoise and the hare.

“School Bus” by Donald Crews is the book for you if your child goes nuts for the big yellow buses! The reader tags along for a day in the life of a school bus from the depot in the morning , to school , across town and back. The book was also helpful when I was teaching the concepts of stop/ go and empty/ full.

“Truck Stuck” by Sallie Wolf was an awesome find. It immediately reminded me of ” One Duck Stuck ” by Phyllis Root and that is not a bad thing at all! The rhyming text is fun and the illustrations made me giggle, especially the Elvis impersonator in a pink Cadillac! My son was so impressed with this book, I was able to negotiate my reluctant eater to finish his lunch if I read it one more time . That speaks volumes!